Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, May 28, 2010

This Week in Publishing 5/28/10

This Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek IN PUBLISHING.

First up, there will be no Page Critique Monday this coming Monday as the blog (and its author) will be taking Memorial Day off. However, I'm pleased to report: CONTEST ON TUESDAY!!! I'm very excited about this one, which is in honor of the release of Lisa Brackkman's dynamite thriller ROCK PAPER TIGER, which oh yes received a fabulous starred PW review and is ten kinds of awesome (and quite possibly more). So see you on Tuesday!

Speaking of buzz, the iPad has gone on sale in Japan, some countries in Europe, and Australia, and wouldn't you know: lines abound.

Also in iPad news, B&N released their highly anticipated iPad e-reader app, and I have to say, in my opinion it's the best one yet and well worth the wait. It's eminently customizable - you can change fonts, margins, colors, sizes, create your own themes based on your preferences, or, if all that customization isn't your thing you can just click a button to use the publisher's settings. Books are searchable, notetaking is a piece of cake, you can highlight anything and look it up in the dictionary or on Google and Wikipedia, it incorporates the built-in Lend-Me feature, and you always know what page you're on with a nice little scrolling image at the bottom of the screen. Well done, B&N. Well done, indeed. The only drawbacks I noticed is that things seem to load just a bit more slowly than the other e-reading apps, there aren't page-turning customization options, and per CNet they haven't yet worked out iPad/iPhone syncing, but that's coming later in the year.

Meanwhile, amid word that Apple's iBooks is opening itself to self-publishers and B&N is launching a self-publishing program, Eric at Pimp My Novel takes stock of some of the lack the options for self-publishers at iBooks, and says that neither of these developments represent a death knell for publishers and agents. This clip seems relevant.

And swear this is the last e-book link, but via Moby Lives..... another e-reader debuts! This one has an LCD screen, runs Android and sells for $199. It also looks pretty nice. It's called the Novel, which shouldn't be confusing at all.

BEA was this week and there have been a ton of recaps and blog posts around the Internet, but by my money no one does BEA recaps and captures the spirit of the event better than agent Janet Reid. One Two Three Four - go!

Oh - also in BEA news, Garrison Keillor wrote the New York Times' 4,178,258,257th Op-Ed on the end of publishing as we know it (The cause: deluge of self-published books. The apocalyptic metaphor: "Call me a pessimist, call me Ishmael, but I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea."). Flavorwire took a survey the industry reactions to the op-ed, and... yeah wow. Pithiest response goes to Marley Magaziner: “Having worked at NPR and in publishing, publishing pays better.” (via @Victoria Strauss)

In writing advice news, my client Jennifer Hubbard has an awesome blog post about how difficult it is to decide whether or not to take editorial guidance, and how at the end of the day it's your name on the book.

Author Hannah Moskowitz wrote a fantastic post about dealing with inevitable frustration at every level of the publishing process ("everyone feels like they're not as good as everyone else"), and how best to deal with it. Her secret isn't unplugging from the business (that's impossible) but instead finding supportive people outside of it.

And Livia Blackburne has a terrific summary of a chapter of a book called MADE TO STICK, about what keeps a reader's attention: a knowledge gap. Don't know what that means? Better click over to fill your knowledge gap!

In agent advice news, Rachelle Gardner has a great post for authors considering switching agents, noting that the grass is not always greener, and Jessica at BookEnds has some awesome ideas for ways to use your galleys.

This week in the Forums: the violent cartoons we watched as kids, whether or not flashbacks work, queries and voice, and um, seriously the show's over and I still have no idea what happened on Lost.

Oh - and the wonderful Tahereh was kind enough to interview me on her wonderful blog!

Comment! Of! The! Week! goes to Josin L. McQuein, who had a terrific comment on setting. An excerpt:

Terrain isn't a backdrop and shouldn't be treated like one. It requires navigation because of rises and dips. There are snaggling brambles and tree branches that can tickle or torment.

Surfaces have texture. They reflect light or shatter it, sometimes they devour it.

Setting is such a key component to the tone of a story it bugs me when people shrug it off as though it were no more than the shoebox used to house a first grade diorama of the Cretaceous Period.

And finally, via Serzen in the Forums, a hilarious song from author Parnell Hall about having a signing in Waldenbooks and nobody's there.

Have a great weekend! See you Tuesday!


Livia said...

Thank you again for the link :-) And dude, if I ever run into you at a conference, I'm totally gonna be "accidentally" knocking things off tables & shelves to see your Crouching Tiger skills.

treeoflife said...

Sooo many good links, thanks Nathan!

I think the industry responses to Keillor are a little too much... I don't think the guy was being serious.

18 million writers with 14 sales each, 8 to blood relatives. Total earnings: $1.75? That's about how silly the whole "death of publishing" predictions are.

Josin L. McQuein said...

YAY! I made "Comment of the Week!"
*silly dance*

I'm glad you told us you won't be posting Monday so no one stalks the submit button all day waiting for that page crit... not that I'd do that or anything...

Monty Python on YouTube! My day is officially shot as now I'll be clicking videos the rest of the day. And I can't even complain about it because I love the clips so much.

Nathan Bransford said...


I agree, I think he had his tongue planted firmly in cheek. And it's Garrison Keillor! His entire career is dedicated to nostalgia.

I just think young people in the business especially have heard that that the industry is dying one too many times from people outside of the business.

Kia Abdullah said...

I love the video! I had five signings in the months after the release of my book and was always really nervous that no-one would turn up. The way I saw it, the people who would want to meet you would come to your first signing, the ones who couldn't make the first signing would go to the second signing and there'd be no-one left for the third signing!

I was very aggressive with PR (didn't just leave it to my publicist) and targeted different audiences for different talks (i.e. local libraries for one, local schools for another, universities for the next, and so on). The main thing I learnt was that you can never be complacent! I was at a lit festival and quite a few university students turned up for my talk and then left afterwards. The two authors after me were far more successful but had about 8 people in their audience because they assumed lots of people would turn up and did no PR.

Tahereh said...

yayyyy!!! fabulosity around every hyperlink, indeed!

and thanks for being so incredible in the interview! :D :D your fans adore you even more!

Joseph said...

my client Jennifer Hubbard has an awesome blog post about how difficult it is to decide whether or not to take editorial guidance

You are indeed correct. That was an awesome blog post.

Anne said...

That video is great (and sad). Thanks for all of the wonderful links that will keep me busy today.

Nice job on Tahereh's interview too. I got a kick out of it.

hannah said...

Jennifer's blog post was incredible and helped me make a very difficult choice I've been mulling over. I don't have a Livejournal, so I can't comment there, but thank you very much, Jenn.

mary said...

Totally loved the interview on Tahereh's blog. Orange tennis shoes, huh? Hmm... *shakes head while wondering where DOES Nathan get that keen sense of style*

I predict that next year's publishing convention will see a dramatic rise in orange footwear, Oh Trendsetting One.

Have a Happy (relaxing) Memorial Day, everybody :-).

Marilyn Peake said...

Looks like many interesting links to read. Thank you! I pre-ordered Lisa Brackmann's ROCK PAPER TIGER a while back and cannot wait to read it. It sounds fascinating! Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

ryan field said...

I'm looking forward to reading Rock Paper Tiger.

Good links...have a nice weekend.

T. Anne said...

Aww, poor Parnell! I loved the video. And you go Josin! I've long since been converted into the go-big-or-go-home-when-it-comes-to-setting camp. Have a great long weekend Nathan!

Marilyn Peake said...

I had a few minutes free to sit at my computer with a cup of coffee, so I sat down and read the blog posts by Jennifer Hubbard and Hannah Moskowitz because I recognize their names from Nathan’s blog. Really great posts! I also discovered that Lisa Brackmann’s book has arrived. It’s the next novel I plan to read. Looking forward to it!

abc said...

Josin needs to be published already! (unless you are Josin, and I missed it). Take that girl on, Nathan!

Marilyn Peake said...

Read your interview on Tahereh’s Blog. HaHaHaHa! That was one of the funniest and most awesome interviews I’ve ever read!

swampfox said...

So the Lost people were all dead the whole time, or what? Isn't that what Richard said a little bit ago?

Josin L. McQuein said...

LoL, abc. If you missed it, I did too ;-)


They were not dead the whole time, and it says that in the finale. They died at different times and went to "sideways" world to wait until everyone else had died... long wait for Hurley and Ben ... so they could all "move on" together.

swampfox said...

OK, then.

Thank you, Josin.

Marsha Sigman said...

The interview with Tahereh was But then she is like the height of cool.

I also may be just a little bit in love with Parnell Hall now.

Mira said...

Oh no!! There are so many great links and I want to comment on all of them.

But everyone else writes these short little posts on Friday, and I want to talk, talk, talk.

I think the solution is to hide. I'll post short posts a bunch of times, and no one will notice I've secretly written a really long post, broken into pieces. Ha! Yes. This plan is GOOD. I shall enact it.

So, I think I have exactly enough room on my post here to congratulate Lisa on her awesome release!!! Yay Lisa! And what a great review - I think I said months ago I'd buy your book, and I shall, and I'm happy to see I'll be reading something terrific.

Although I really should have known that already, because Nathan is representing you.

I can't think of anything more wonderful than getting published, except maybe getting published and getting a starred review! Lisa and Nathan - I'm really happy for you both. :)

Mira said...

Oh, I do have one more important thing to add.

For now.

CONTEST!!!!!!! WOOT!!!!

no-bull-steve said...

I'm exhausted just reading this! Haven't even linked to anything yet.

Holy Particle Collider, Batman, the publishing world is spinning faster than anyone can keep up.

Can't wait for the Brackmann debut on Tusday!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a noob, and a tradionalist. I deeply distrust the gizmos but am not entirely dumb. It's close but not entirely.

I have two questions regarding e-publishing and marketing. Maybe it's all asked and answered, but if so, I missed it.

Why is traditional paper publishing the only route into the "real" market, can't e-publishing be first? After all, it's the hardest core readers I'm after and they are people who are buying these gizmos. The customer is always right, right?

Where are the agents who were smart enough to get on this new tool and ride it to market?

I haven't seen any who say "I'm the cat's pajamas at marketing in the e-publishing world with_____
titles sold!"

What's up with that?


Anne R. Allen said...

I thought Garrison K. was hilarious. (Glad you got the humor too, Mr. B.) Maybe what he should be lamenting is the loss of the publishing world's abilty to understand irony.

Other Lisa said...

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone!

(and I'm looking forward to the contest!)

S M Orges said...

Your guide to getting Lost (and by "getting" I mean "understanding"):

Robin_Lucas said...

I remember Lisa's query letter for Rock Paper Tiger.

Can't wait to read the book.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I hope everyone enjoys Monday's holiday and remembers what it is for.
So many great links I'm never going to get any writing done. And I do love the book signing video. None of mine have been that bad but it's early yet.

writerjenn said...

Thanks to those who've mentioned my blog. I do accept anonymous comments there, but they're screened until I can review them.

I've read ROCK PAPER TIGER, and those who haven't yet are in for a thought-provoking read!

Jenn Hubbard

February Grace said...

The interview was awesome. A guy who considers Marvin a potential superhero and loves Disneyland because it really is magical?

Dude. I would so love to just have lunch with you, just to talk about Adams and Disney. Okay, maybe the odd MST3K reference might have to be thrown in too if you're into that sorta thing too.

I'm so into Disney that my kitchen is completely done up in Walt Disney World Monorail models...

How much cooler can Nathan Bransford get?

I mean seriously, it's ridiculous in the best possible way.

Jaleh D said...

That was a terrific interview on Tahereh's blog.

And a fantastic view on setting from Josin. I'll have hang that up by my computer to remind me to fill in setting once I finish my first drafts.

D. G. Hudson said...

A great wrap-up, Nathan. iPad went on sale in Canada this week also, but only heard about line-ups in Ontario. Isn't this common now for the latest toy? (you want one, you line up or pre-order)

Didn't know you had crouching tiger skills - quick with the wit AND fast on your feet? Good combo.

Recently while in Seattle, cruised the B&N store and Borders - I love bookstores. Hubby and I did our best to support them by buying books, natch. Even joined the Borders store for online ordering.

Josin pegged it with her definition of setting. Very well written (as many of the readers noticed).

Loved Taherah's Interview with you, Nathan, more casual and funny than more formal interviews you've done. She also revealed more of the human side of Nathan.

The videos were a nice touch - Parnell Hall addressed a writer's fear - having a party and no one comes. (hey - who was responsible for the PR?)Kudos to him! I like his attitude. AND - Monty Python humor endures!

Hope all of you readers south of the Canadian border enjoy your long weekend!

Haste yee back ;-) said...

And for "Knowledge Gaps"... Look no further than, "Is there life after death?"

The quest for certainty on this uncertain planet is just amazing! And, guess what, ya kin git yersef' kilt if you're on the wrong side of someone else's "Certainty."

Ironic, ain't it?

Haste yee back ;-)

wendy said...

Apple's I-Books publishing opportunity isn't for those who live outside the U.S. or don't have a modern Mac. *g*

Hooray for Josin, best of best-selling luck for Lisa and woot(!) for Tuesday's contest.

Kat Sheridan said...

I've read ROCK PAPER TIGER and WHAT an awesome, FABULOUS thriller. I consumed it in one long, delicious gulp. I envy anyone who hasn't read it yet, for the sheer joy of discovering it!

Mira said...

Dum, dee, dum, dee, dum, dum....

so, I was just passing by, and I don't believe I posted yet here. Nope, don't see any long posts, so I must not have commented.

So, I'll comment briefly and then leave, of course, because everyone comments briefly on Fridays and I like to conform. Conformity is my LIFE.

Okey dokey.

I'm so glad you're taking Memorial weekend off, Nathan. You work very hard.

That is so interesting that other businesses are entering the self-publishing e-book fray. The Monty Python link was hilarious.

I thought Garrison K.'s article was mostly tongue in cheek nostalgia with a bit of a bite.

You know it occured to me I haven't read Jennifer's book either. This must be rectified. Given what a great editor and reader's eye you have Nathan, I bet it's fantastic.

I thought Hannah's post was great.

Finally. Finally, someone asked Nathan, the right questions!! Yay, Tahereh! Usually they ask Nathan things like what it takes to be published, blah, blah. She asked important stuff, like what shoes he's wearing. And I love Disneyland too!!! It's like we're twins.

Except I'm not...EVASIVE. Ha! That explains alot.

Josin's comment really was brilliant.

So, I'm done, and I'm very glad I could fit all of this into a brief post.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Have a good Memorial Day!

Chuck H. said...

Lest we forget. People have died to give us the freedoms we have. So enjoy. And remember.

Other Lisa said...

Mira, I've read Jennifer's book -- it's great -- beautifully written.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Mira said...

Lisa - good to know, and I believe you! Congrats on your reviews - I hope your book is a great success! :)

Elesia Ashkenazy said...

Great post--lot's of good stuff!

John C said...

Has Mira posted anything yet? I always enjoy her posts, but I haven't been able to find one today!

I'll have to painstakingly comb through each and every letter in these posts until I find one!

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